Customer Traffic Into the Red
Stagnation just slid back into recession.
After six years of 1% annual growth in customer counts and a flat first half of 2016, foodservice traffic declined by 1% in Q3, according The NPD Group. Even quick service, which has kept the overall industry from sinking farther in the past, saw a drop in traffic for the first time in five years.
Lower disposable income—a result of higher health care costs for most and heavy student debt loads for some—coupled with restaurant prices that have risen in excess of inflation is part of the problem. NPD restaurant analyst Bonnie Riggs says